New York: For Roger Federer, winning grand slams is like riding a bike. Once you know how to do it, you can do it again.
The evergreen Swiss may be carrying a bit more baggage these days, not least with his four children in tow, but in his 60th successive grand slam, the 33-year-old truly believes he can extend his record tally of singles titles to 18.
Twelve months ago and nursing a back injury at the U.S. Open, Federer was upset by Spain`s Tommy Robredo in the fourth round at the year`s final grand slam.
A year on and the Swiss second seed faces Australia`s world number 76 Marinko Matosevic under the lights at Flushing Meadows on Tuesday, confident he is in good enough shape to win again.
"I think last year I was trying to convince myself I did have an opportunity," said Federer, who reached the Wimbledon final last month. "The confidence was going away quickly just because I was just not moving so well.
“This year, really from the first week, I have always played really nice tennis. So you come into this U.S. Open and you remember how it feels to win tournaments.
"You almost forget how to lose to a point and confidence rises. You`re back to winning ways again and everything seems so simple. I really feel like I can play a great tournament."
Following Federer onto Arthur Ashe Stadium court will be Serena Williams, who begins her quest for a third straight U.S. Open title against another American, teenager Taylor Townsend.
Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova takes on Kristina Mladenovic of France while runner-up Eugenie Bouchard of Canada faces Belarussian Olga Govortsova.